Alleged scammer accused of another one

Mason Buddy charged with selling VW that belonged to Trip Barnes.

Mason Buddy is facing another larceny charge, this time involving a vintage VW. –Courtesy Dukes County Sheriff’s Dept.

A man accused of scamming an Oak Bluffs woman out of $25,000 is also facing charges related to allegedly bilking a Vineyard Haven business owner out of the sale money for an antique Volkswagen.

Mason Buddy, 81, pleaded not guilty last month to a charge of larceny more than $1,200 after an elderly Oak Bluffs woman told police she gave to Buddy, whom she met at McLean Hospital, $25,000 that he said he was going to invest.

After reading about that in The Times, Clarence “Trip” Barnes, who has a car business in Tisbury, told police the story of how he extended credit to Buddy. Barnes said Buddy, whom he had purchased cars from in the past, told him he had a buyer for a 1962 Volkswagen Barnes owned.

That car had quite the history itself. In an interview with The Times, Barnes said the car was originally purchased by Loring Rowe, the former vice president of LaSalle Steel, who lived in Edgartown. He purchased the VW at a dealership in Oak Bluffs and took delivery of it in Germany so his wife could tour Europe, Barnes said. Eventually, Rowe had the car shipped to the Island.

“Mr. Buddy said he had a customer ready for this ‘time capsule,’ and I did not hear from him again for years until he walked into my office two weeks ago to ‘borrow’ a car,” Barnes wrote in his statement to police. “He had his own plates.”

When Buddy recently returned to the Island late last year and Barnes questioned Buddy about the nonpayment for the VW, “he said he was in his 80s and his memory failed him,” Barnes wrote. “Buddy then said of course he was back and would pay me but would I like to invest $5,000 in a stock that would pay double in a matter of weeks. I said, ‘No.’”

Barnes did let Buddy use a car for the weekend, but later heard from a nurse at the hospital that the car had been left in the lot and she had the keys, according to the statement written by Barnes. The nurse told Barnes that Buddy had been taken to McLean Hospital.

Buddy would re-emerge on the Island again last month, Barnes said, but this time Barnes refused to let him use the car, and had one of his employees return Buddy’s dealer plate to him. That’s when he learned that he wasn’t Buddy’s only victim.

“On Sunday (Jan. 13), I found an article on The MVTimes with a big story on Buddy scamming an Oak Bluffs resident out of $25,000,” Barnes wrote. Barnes went to police with his story, which dated back several years. It turned out Buddy had sold the VW to a Connecticut wholesaler for $7,000, Barnes said.

Barnes told police he had $6,000 invested in the antique VW. He hoped it would fetch $10,000 to $12,000.

As The Times previously reported, Buddy has a history of bilking people out of money, and was sentenced to federal prison in 1999. During that sentencing, he was ordered to make $334,000 in restitution to more than 11 people he had bilked out of money. He was also ordered not to incur any new charges.

“But the fact is I recognize, candidly, that imposing a sentence on you at your age and with this background has little likelihood of reforming or rehabilitating you,” Judge William Young wrote in his sentencing decision. “But we trust it may deter other people. And it is a just sentence … It is not this court’s view that in view of your age, the sentence ought to be less. And I’m even willing to accept in some sort of deluded way you hoped that you might earn something with other people’s money.”

Tisbury Police have also charged Buddy with larceny of more than $1,200 by a single scheme. He remains in the Dukes County jail, where he has failed to post bail. He is due back in Edgartown District Court on Feb. 14, and Barnes will be in the gallery watching.

“Do I think I’ll get my money? No, no probably not,” Barnes said. “But I’m forever an optimist.”


  1. “Alleged scammer accused of another one.”
    At first I thought this headline referred to our esteemed President, then realized it was about Mr Buddy. Because generally speaking, if you made a claim to get elected that “Mexico is going to pay for the wall”, an unequivocal scam, one could reasonably expect more scams from such a liar. We now know who has likely inspired Mr Buddy. Lie, perpetrate scams and you too could be elected to the highest office in the land.

  2. James the Times just could not wait to post your anti Trump comments. Ever heard *elections have consequences*? What are you going to do when President Trump gets Reelected in 2020. Get over it!

    • Hey, just for the record, we printed your pro Trump comments even quicker. James wrote his comment last night and it was moderated this morning. #factsmatter

    • tis naive — do you have some point ?
      . James is correct in his assertion that trump scammed the undereducated. Not once, not twice.. maybe thousands of times– perhaps even hundreds– trump , by all constitutional rules , and under the rules of law that this country is founded upon , should be in jail in 2020 . What are you going to do ?
      In the mean time , I would appreciate it if you quit your whining–
      Thank you George for calling this one..

  3. TIsbury Native, you would be mistaken in framing my comment as “anti Trump”. I am anti-scam. Whether it is Trump, Obama or anyone else, I am going to point out the fraud being perpetrated upon the American people. Claiming “Mexico is going to pay for the wall”, was a deliberate fraud. He even specified the details of how this was to be paid.(later denied) Make no mistake about it, we have been scammed. Is this the sort of “consequences” you are referring to when he was elected?
    Further, I have had plenty of comments refused by Brennan. He is generally a straightforward Editor, who I have disagreed with many times. If my comment got published, it can only be because it is based on reasoned facts. Trump did repeatedly state those claims as Mexico has never agreed them.
    That I am supposed to “get over Trump being elected “, is akin to saying to Mr Buddys victims “get over it, your money is gone. Tough for you. What are you going to do in 2020?”
    You might want to rethink that big glass of Trump koolaide you just drank.

  4. this guy scammed trip Barnes ? trip is a smart but caring guy– I am concerned that this article may deter people from helping others.. Trip’s a great guy– and a savvy businessman ..he also understands the community–if he can get burned, we all can . but please , lead with the idea that everyone is honest— otherwise , we wind up in some sort of trumpdistopian hell

  5. Could someone please get me Buddy’s contact info?
    I want to invest in those stocks that he offered to Trip because I would like to double my money in two weeks.
    I have a very large brain. I chew tobacco.
    I believe in Trump.
    He told me: The United States loses “250 Billion Dollars a year on illegal immigration, not including the terrible drug flow. Top Border Security, including a Wall, is $25 Billion. Pays for itself in two months.”
    He told me: 3,000 people “did not die” in two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. That death toll estimate was “done by Democrats.”
    He told me: “U.S. Steel just announced that they are building six new steel mills.”
    The facts are not necessarily the facts………….we all know this, right?
    Consider this Trump quote: “Wow, highest Poll Numbers in the history of the Republican Party. That includes Honest Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.” HOW CAN ANYBODY DOUBT A MAN WITH SUCH HIGH POLL NUMBERS?
    Buddy, how is it that you have not been tapped By Trump for the Supreme Court?
    You know what, Buddy, if you allow me, I will triple my investment in those stocks you offered.
    I got make it big before alexandria ocasio-cortez passes that Billionaire 70% tax law.

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